Hey everybody! This is a quick list I've put together for you guys on ways to cut back on your utility bills.
If you have a gas stove, cook bigger meals or even two at once. Why keep turning on the oven when you can cook the lasagna for tonight and mac & cheese for tomorrow, at the same time. Cook big meals that will last for 2-3 days, to avoid using the oven at all on other days.
If your gas is being used to heat your house be sure that your home is properly insulated. In the event that it isn't, check into Amazon and Home Depot to see what your options are. My bill decreased 15% based on $30 worth of insulation improvements. I just purchased a window insulation kit and two door sweeps, it made all the difference. I also covered my fireplace with the plastic window insulation kit for additional protection.
If your gas is being used to heat your water heater be sure that you check your thermostat. "The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends setting to 49 °C (120 °F)." It reduces energy and the likelihood of scalding someone.
Use an adjustable thermostat! I remember my first condo had an old HVAC system and a $200 light bill, for 1100 square feet in Georgia, I was outraged. I had GA Power come out and they revealed the source of my problem was the HVAC system, which needed to be replaced. I went for a temporary solution as a renter and had an adjustable thermostat installed, I immediately saw the savings.
Work with the electricity schedule. There are times of day that are cheaper to run power, typically at night between 11p and 5a, but check into your local utility company to confirm the hours. I delay the start on my dishwasher to fit the reduced price hours and start laundry later in the evening.
Invest in LED lights. I recently spoke with a guy who does commercial LED lighting, he discussed the clients having savings of up to 15% on their electric bills. In a typical residential setting the savings range from $3-$15 a month. The bulbs are suppose to last 4-11 years, making your total savings $145-$1900! They're actually worth $5 no matter how ridiculous that seems in the moment, buy them in bulk to reduce the price and increase the savings even more! If you're not ready to switch all your bulbs start with the commonly used ones, front porch, kitchen, etc.
Unplug it and use power strips. Some things in the home are just completely draining your electricity (i.e. the unused charger, DVR player, extra monitor, etc.) If you aren't using it, unplug it until you are. Some places in the home are used during particular times, like the home office. Plug these items into power strips to control wasted energy, take it a step further and purchase energy efficient power strips.
Check your insulation. Heating and cooling are a huge chunk of your electric bill, you don't want to pay for it to just escape back out. Check the seals of your windows, the doors, what's leaking? How's the insulation looking like in the attic, in the basement, the garage, etc.?
This tip saves on water and electricity. Make sure you always wash a full load of clothes and dishes. Those half loads really add up in water waste. You may as well fill it up and get the bang for your buck.
Be mindful with showers and bathes. Baby bathes take up a gallon or two of water, easy stuff. The grown ups are the problem, shorten the showers, and don't fill the tub up as much when you do opt on bathes.
Turn it off. When you're washing your hands, turn the water off while you're applying soap. Turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth. Whenever you aren't actively using the water, turn it off.
Install efficient fixtures. Look into your toilets, shower heads, faucets (both indoors and out), etc. Start price checking the energy efficient versions of them, put these upgrades in your upcoming budget. A few bucks spent now will save a ton later. If you want to take it a step further, check out the energy ratings on your dishwasher and washing machine.
Wash the dog outside, it doubles as a yard watering session. There are other ways to double your water usage too, like using the pasta water to water your plants. Install rain buckets to collect water outside, then use that water for your gardening and other outdoor tasks.
I hope these tips are useful to you with cutting the utility costs in your home. Whenever there is a way to save money, I try to take advantage of it. I then can used that saved money to apply to debt. I'm motivated to be completely debt-free by 30, I'm done playing around with my finances.
If you have more ideas on how to cut utility costs, share them in the comments. I look forward to hearing from all of you on how you pinch pennies in the home.
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